National circus coming to Cape Town
Cape Town race fans are set for a superb day’s racing when the South African national championship Extreme Festival circuit racing roadshow visits the Killarney International Raceway Saturday 9 September. Boasting star-studded seven-category program, it’s bound to be a cracking meeting to warm the cockles of early spring racing hearts.
The racing is sure to match its Extreme billing, with the best of the best en route to compete in four national categories backed up by a pair of top National Challenge races and rounded off by a favourite local attraction. The Sasol Global Touring Cars will enjoy top billing, while the Engen Volkswagen Cup, Investchem Formula 1600s and Hankook Formula Vees as well as the Red Square Kawasaki Masters motorcycles and the local Midas Clubmans will add huge intrigue, but don’t ever forget the G&H Transport Extreme Supercars…
Those fastest and most spectacular G&H Extreme Supercars should make for the most spectacular races of the day — but will they prove to be the crowd favourite? That's quite possible considering that entries include a horde of upcountry Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches and other delectable machinery heading down to take on the likes of local heroes, Johan Engelbrecht’s wild Porsche, Marcel Angel’s spectacular Ferrari 458 and Paarl flyer Dawie Joubert’s mad Lotus-Honda.
That gang of upcountry visitors is set to prove a truly mouthwatering prospect for local fans, with Franco and Dino Scribante and Sun Moodley’s stunning Porsche GT3s, Craig Jarvis and Charl Arangies’ Ferrari 458s, Jimmy Giannoccaro and Jonathan du Toit’s Ferrari 430s, Lamborghini lads Simon Murray’s Gallardo and Greg Parton’s Huracan among the quicker Vaalies out to prove a point to their allegedly Mountain Goat opposition…
Add to that a motley crew of crazy BMWs for the likes of local stars Niyaaz Modack and Peet van der Walt, rudely quick Jozi driver Dawie Olivier and his upcountry cohorts; Gianni Giannoccaro, Adrian Dalton and Paul Hill, another Jozi visitor, Mark du Toit in his Ferrari 360 and local Porsche lot Cyril Ginsburg, Nicky Dicks, Andre Brink and Maarten Prins and you have the recipe for a memorable afternoon of spectacular supercar racing.
GTC — Michael vs Gennaro
Big news on the Sasol GTC front is that champion Michael Stephen and his Engen Audi have come from behind to steal the championship lead from Sasol BMW arch-rival Gennaro Bonafede and both drivers will be out for nothing less that absolute victory in what promises to be a no-holds barred rattle to the flag. Killarney’s faithful will no doubt be rooting for local hero Johan Fourie, who is certainly well overdue for a race win in his EPS Couriers BMW.
Of course there are several other characters lurking with Sasol GTC victory intent, so never overlook the championship rivals’ respective teammates, Audi lad Simon Moss or BMW driver Robert Wolk, both of whom have tasted victory, while factory Volkswagen Jetta duo Mathew Hodges and Daniel Rowe and the ever fast but troubled RSC BMW driver Michael van Rooyen are all right in there with a shout.
There’s quite a bit of intrigue in the second-division Sasol GTC2 ranks, where championship leader Keagan Masters (VW Motorsport Golf GTI) will likely miss Killarney due to his international Audi TT Cup commitments at the Nurburgring, so his rivals, VW teammate Mandla Mdkane, Bradley Liebenberg’s Ferodo and Chris Shorter’s Champion Minis, rapid Golf GTI privateers Trevor Bland (TB Racing), Charl Smalberger (iCorp VW Parts) and Iain Stevenson (Comsol) will want to make hay while the sun shines. Local lad Dayne Angel is leaning on a hometown advantage in his Honda, while another Cape native, former SA Endurance champion Nick Adcock will debut his AidCall24-7 Golf GTI.
The Engen Volkswagen Cup is guaranteed to produce sensational racing at Killarney, but the dominant Devin Robertson (Payen) will want to wrap up the championship next weekend. He won’t have it easy however, with Signature Racing teammates Clinton Bezuidenhout (Glyco), Matt Shorter (Moog) and young Benj Habig (Nüral), Glasfit/C-Track trio; Masters star Juan Gerber and twins Darren and Justin Oates and Universal Health duo Jeffrey Kruger and Cape local favourite, Jano van der Westhuizen keen to stop him.
Pepper Racing loves winning at Killarney and its trio of drivers, fast lady Tasmin Pepper, Master Shaun La Réservée and teenager Daniel Duminy will want to return to winning ways at their lucky track. Volkswagen’s Driver Search prodigy Jonathan Mogotsi will be after a second race win — he and VW motorsport teammate Kuda Vazuhre are always in the thick of it, while the likes of former rally driver Paulus Franken, 16-year old Ethan van Heerden, the returning Shivesh Bissoon and senior trio, Mauritian Simon Need, Francois van Tonder and Johan Pretorius are all part of that hugely entertaining mobile spectacle.
Cape Town's new champion?
Local race fans are likely to witness one of their own wrap up his first national main circuit championship as Julian van der Watt (Investchem RDSA) only has to finish seventh once to win the 2017 Investchem Formula 1600 championship at Killarney. Considering he’s won eleven of the 12 races so far and ended second in the other one, the odds are good, especially when his closest rival, Stuart White will miss this one as he too races in Europe this weekend. That leaves Cameron O’Connor, Alex Gillespie, Brad Beningfield, Dean Venter and Liam Pienaar to stop the Julian juggernaut, while another Cape Town kid, Joshua Dolinschek will be out to make a lasting impression.
Talking single-seaters, the good old Formula Vees make a welcome return to Killarney, where the likes of Gert van den Berg, Peter Hills, Jaco Schriks and Siyabonga Mankonkwana will be in action as they chase the South African championship in that venerable class, while also dealing with local Libre wildcards Byron Mitchell, William Vice and Blaze Nicholas.
A Killarney race meeting would not be a Killarney race meeting without two-wheeler action and this weekend sees the national challenge Red Square Kawasaki ZX10s visiting the Cape circuit with the likes of Graeme van Breda, Gareth Bezuidenhout, Jaco Gous and Michael Smit ready to rock with Sven Grune, Sanjiv Singh and Brian Bontekoning.
Local is lekker!
Last but not least, the home-brewed Midas Clubmans will keep the Killarney faithful feeling right at home as BMW mob Danie van Niekerk, evergreen veteran Armien Levy and Ernest Roos take on VW gang Michael le Sueur, Francois van Tonder, Damien Lopez, Tony Leca, George Neethling and Nick Cunningham-Moorat. Another blast from the past, John Craig will be among those to take them all on in his original Nissan Sentra STi Touring Car!
With the racing bound to provide non-stop action throughout the day, there will be enough trackside attractions to add to the allure, with a Grid Walk and other live entertainment; a food market and specialist stalls behind the pits and much more to do around the track.
So there you have it — see you at Killarney Saturday 9 September!